Part of this dark night is the exile. Exiled from feeling God's presence, exiled from home, exiled into a soul-less existence. This is not living. It is merely existing. There are moments of grace, slices of time when my soul isn't aching for God. I function. I can laugh at a joke. I can share a joke. But the deep joy out of which I lived is but a shallow puddle. In this exile, I strain to hear anything from God. It is so quiet, too quiet. And lonely, ever so lonely.
I don't function fully or extremely well in dark nights or exile. Even the thawing around me has not relieved the deadness within me. This is a dying unto myself and I long for resurrection, for the stirrings of life, new life. This Easter will be as hollow to me as the chocolate Easter bunnies in the basket. At least, that is where I am right now. I don't think that this dark night will be over by Easter. There has been no movement in that direction. That's not to say that the longing for life, new life, having my dry bones dance and live, isn't there. On the contrary, the desire, the longing, the yearning for God to breathe life where there is none, to lead me out of the tomb of this dark night, unwrapped and alive, is with me daily. This dark night will take as long as it needs, as long as it has to. I have to settle into it and allow the Mystery of its bringing back to life to take place.
For now...I am in exile....